An increasingly trendy way to experience all that New York City’s fabulous food scene has to offer is by checking out one (or more!) of its popular food halls. Food halls bring together under one roof—or side by side, for those food halls that function more like old-school, open-air food markets—many different restaurants specializing in an array of distinctive cuisines at a variety of price points.
But New York’s best food halls aren’t just trendy tourist traps, they’re fantastic places to sample new culinary fare and enjoy long-time favorites—and they’re often conveniently located near some of the city’s standout attractions or in the midst of its hottest neighborhoods. From small outposts of big-name restaurants to buzzworthy newcomers, celebrity chef-helmed concepts to mom-and-pop favorites, you’ll find something to satisfy all types of tastebuds and budgets at New York City’s most noteworthy food halls.
No matter how many food halls spring up throughout the city seemingly overnight, to this day the quintessential New York food hall remains Chelsea Market. Occupying the restored, historic Nabisco factory where the beloved Oreo cookie was first produced, Chelsea Market contains scores of restaurants, vendors, and retailers. Food-to-go meals, fresh produce, souvenirs: you name it, Chelsea Market has it. Plus, when you’re done you can walk but a few blocks to nearby tourist attractions like the Whitney Museum of American Art, the High Line, and Little Island in Hudson River Park—or shop until you drop in the ultra-hip Meatpacking District.
Time Out Market
In recent years, the popular Time Out Market brand has swept its way into multiple major metropolitan areas throughout the United States, and the New York franchise lives up to the label’s reputation for presenting thoughtfully curated dining experiences in a chic space. Located in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood not far from some of the city’s premier waterfront parks (Brooklyn Bridge Park and Empire Fulton Ferry), Time Out Market New York features roughly two-dozen restaurants spread throughout its roughly 25,000-square-foot site. A particular highlight is the food market’s rooftop bar, which possesses wonderful views of the city.
New York is fabled for being a city where people, places, and brands are constantly reinventing themselves, and that ethos is exemplified today in our list’s next notable food hall, Essex Market. Long heralded as New York City’s oldest public market, Essex Market recently moved into a brand-new space—to the relief of longtime fans the move was a short one, just across the street, and it remained in its vibrant Lower East Side neighborhood not far from the Tenement Museum and the Museum at Eldridge Street. Here, amidst nearly 40,000 square feet of retail space, you’ll encounter bakeries, soup stands, smoothie vendors, kebab joints, and so much more—as well as New York City’s classic Shopsin’s General Store.
Gotham West Market
If you’re thinking your upcoming New York City adventure might include a morning spent soaking in the spectacular views on display from the top of The Edge at Hudson Yards, an afternoon devoted to exploring the hustle and bustle of iconic Times Square, or an evening sitting in the audience of a Broadway show—heck, maybe you’re ambitious and want to tackle all three—make sure to plan on taking in a meal at nearby Gotham West Market. This Hell’s Kitchen food hall skews a bit high end—think acclaimed sushi, ramen, and sit-down Italian—but it’s been a favorite for over a decade now.
Urbanspace is a new entry in the local food hall scene, and they’ve arrived in a big way, with multiple locations already spread out across New York, Chicago, and metro Washington DC. Depending on where your plans take you in the city, you can’t go wrong stopping at one of their spaces in such popular areas as Union Square, Midtown East, and not far from SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. Still, the nod here goes to their Midtown location on West 52nd Street, where you can grab high-quality food from your choice of well-regarded vendors just blocks from classic New York City attractions like Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, the Museum of Modern Art, and the many shopping pleasures of 5th Avenue.
The Bowery Market
The Bowery Market is a charming outdoor spot in Manhattan’s East Village. It’s a much-smaller space than the other entries on this list, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for with the quality of its dining options. The Bowery Market occupies the remains of a former auto-body shop, meaning the décor here is a mixture of corrugated metal roofs and tin structures dotted by bar stools and patio-style tables. The food itself includes pizza, tacos, sandwiches, and sushi. Be advised, though: given its compact nature, seating here is limited and the space can fill up fast
Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place
When many people think of New York dining, the first thing that pops into their minds tends to be anything but The Battery. This popular area at the very southern tip of Manhattan is far more often associated with its proximity to prime tourist attractions like One World Observatory, the Skyscraper Museum, the September 11 Memorial & Museum, and of course, ferry service to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. But don’t you be one to make that mistake: Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place is a terrific place to grab a bite to eat before or after you enjoy any or all of the above sites. Its food court-like atmosphere has sushi, tacos, burgers, sandwiches, and more—as well as huge windows overlooking the Hudson River.
Mott Street Eatery
Another new entry to the New York City food hall scene that’s quickly garnering plaudits for the richness of its selections is Mott Street Eatery. Prominently situated in the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood, just south of Little Italy and not far from the Museum of Chinese in America, Mott Street Eatery is a low-key affair where the food does the talking. Here you’ll have over 10 unique food stalls to choose from, each one serving up a distinctive take on classics like dumplings, rice-noodle rolls, dim sum, and a whole lot more.